Algeria and France sign deals on nuclear cooperation, petrochemical complex
Ech-Chorouk, December 04, 2007
France and Algeria agreed to cooperate on civilian nuclear technologies, while French oil and gas giant Total SA signed a deal with Sonatrach to build a petrochemical complex in Arzew, west of Algiers.
The announcements came during French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s 3-day state visit to Algeria.
The civilian nuclear framework agreement is designed to facilitate industrial partnerships, transfers of technology and cooperation in training.
Total, meanwhile, said it had signed a deal with the Algerian hydrocarbons’ company Sonatrach to build a petrochemical complex in Arzew, near the western city of Oran.
« The deal signals our entry into Algeria’s petrochemical industry and strengthens the existing partnership between Total and Sonatrach in oil exploration and production, » Total Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie told reporters in Algiers.
The plant will be capable of processing 1.4 million metric tons of gas each year from natural gas fields in southern Algeria, Total said.
It will produce ethylene, which will then be made into either polyethylene or monoethylene glycol.
Required investment in the deal is an estimated US$3 billion (€2 billion). A memorandum of understanding this summer laid the groundwork for the major deal.
As Sarkozy’s three-day visit opened Monday, the two countries initialed today several contracts worth more than 5 billion Euros, (US$7.3 billion).
The trip is Sarkozy’s first full state visit to Algeria since he was elected in May, though he made a brief working visit to Algiers last July for talks with Algerian President Abdellaziz Bouteflika.
President Sarkozy is accompanied on the Algeria trip by 8 ministers, 150 business leaders, in addition to a large number of prominent French personalities and other figures of Algerian-ethnic background.
Story by: B. Hadjadj // Translated by: Med. B.